Interior Designer

Sanam Shah – Trust your crazy ideas and keep the student in you alive


To be the best version of themselves. There are many designers in the field, especially in India, so you need to show passion and determination to stand out.


1. When did you decide to become an Interior Designer?

There are moments in one’s life where a realization strikes, and these moments show you the path to your future in a way. Of course, you don’t realize this at that moment, but when you look back you can pinpoint it. For me, it all started when my home’s interior work was going on. I must have been in the 10th standard back then. Everyone would be asking about my future plans and emphasizing on how our decisions today affect the future. For a teenager with an impressionable mind, the change in the space that was taking place in my own home made a huge mark. That is when I realized that having the skills to do something like that, and creating something so capturing was what I wanted to do and hence the decision of becoming a designer. This particular decision was backed by the fact that I always wanted to create something and being a designer meant channelling all of my energy into creativity.

2. Every successful Interior designer face challenge, what has been your “success mantra”?

Trust your crazy ideas and keep the student in you alive. Every moment and every individual has the power to teach us something. We just have to keep an open mind to accept and learn from it. Of course, no path is worth a story without obstacles. So, for me, ‘always keep learning’ is what you can say has been my “success Mantra”.

3. What are some colour combinations that could work well in a modern house?

Every individual’s definition of a modern house is different. For some it is classic, for some, it is loud, for some it’s simple and subtle, and for some it is posh. I have tried and used colours that suit the clients in all my projects. And out of these, I do have a favourite which is a combination of blue and brown with beige.

4. What is your design philosophy?

More than design philosophy, it is about catering to the basic requirements of the project. Space needs to be functional and yet artistic. But the usability of the space should not get lost in finding the WOW factor. For me, it is about keeping it simple while treating the space with empathy. All of these things create a checklist for me and that is my design philosophy.

5. What are some of the unique challenges with reference to, ‘designing residences in an urban environment’?

Every residence that we design poses its own set of unique challenges. It all comes with the clients with their own preferences. But when it comes to the urban environment, ‘Space’ is the major challenge for us because the ratio for ‘space to requirements’ is too high and it is a big challenge for us as designers. But most of the time we manage it and try to fulfil the requirement without compromising on the design aspect.

6. Which places most influence your current designs?

I love to travel to different places. Sometimes those places might be historical or maybe geographical but they always have some story to tell. And when you get connected to those places you get inspired.

7. Do you have a signature style to your designs?

Not really, it all depends on every space’s requirement. Also, I personally feel that your design shall be a reflection of the client’s desire and demand. Every project must be uniquely designed and justified in its own way.

8. You must have faced 11th-hour crisis-situations, how do you manage to pull them off?

Yes. Crunched up deadlines are very common in our profession. But the only way to deal is proper time management. It is important to plan in advance, keeping in mind the circumstances that might delay the work. Here, Project Management comes into the picture. I think to be a successful interior designer, you must have good project management qualities too.

9. Lets talk about a residential project of 2600 sq.ft you did in Hyderabad? (Project pictures are attached above)

Talking about the project, the overall design was based on the game of contrasts reflecting different personalities of the client. Thus, the overall dark neutral color palette was livened up with bright and rich accents, such as deep greens and burnt yellows and blues. Warm and soft textures encourage the observer to touch and relax, while the symmetrical layout was used to hint at formality. The overall design was in contemporary style, with solid finishing such as wood and leather. Some glimmer and sparkle were added to gain sophisticated look. As we enter the space is a huge living cum family room with a dining area in the center followed up by a balcony. The point of attraction for this space was the magical wall, which added up to the room. The kids’ room was all in shades of blue and red with more of accessories and a foldable bed, which turned out to be the best part of the project. Playing with colors, lights and accessories is the major and favorite part of any project, as this adds a beauty to the space. (Project pictures are attached above)

10. Which exciting new projects should Pune look forward to hearing from you?

I do have an array of projects lined up but an exciting project that I would like to mention here is – The Penthouse designed in old Goan style. It is a new experience for me as well and I am really excited to see how it evolves and turns out.